Judy Darcy, B.C. minister for mental health and addictions (Black Press Media)

B.C. school district teams to focus mental health treatment

Fragmented system a barrier to youth, Judy Darcy says

Five integrated teams are being set up in B.C. school districts to give students easier access to mental health supports.

The teams are to link health care and school resources to young people and family members, so they can get treatment “without having to tell their story over and over,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy said Monday. The school district program is to be developed over the next two years, and the Maple Ridge pilot is to be in operation by December.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district will be the first pilot of the project, to deal with a sharp rise in identified mental health and addiction issues among children.

The province estimates there are currently 84,000 children aged four to 17 experiencing mental health disorders, and B.C. has seen an 86 per cent increase in hospitalizations of people under 25 for mental disorders between 2009 and 2017.

RELATED: B.C. expanding youth mental health services

RELATED: ‘Pathway to Hope’ for B.C. youth mental health

School districts are also beginning to teach mental health literacy in secondary schools, to help young people recognize issues before they become critical. The district teams will be involved in education as well as case work, and school districts have budgeted for extra training for teachers and counsellors.

“We know that resolving small issues before they become big ones helps to avoid needless suffering, and also costlier solutions down the road, Darcy said. “We also know that addressing trauma early on can make a life-long difference.”

The province is also expanding its Foundry youth centre network, which Darcy said is a “one-stop shop” for youth health resources. New Foundry centres are being established in Terrace, Richmond and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, in addition to existing facilities in Kelowna, Campbell River, Prince George, Abbotsford, Penticton, Victoria and Vancouver.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Agriculture water, land-use survey crew on task in Cariboo region

Travelling in a blue Ford F150, the team of three are doing inventory

Horse Lake Road now open after a two-vehicle collision

RCMP are still on-site investigating

Wet’suwet’en clan launches civil lawsuit against Coastal GasLink

Gidimt’en seeking damages and costs over destruction of logging road encampment and gate

Do you think the South Cariboo has enough support for mental health services?

Do you think the South Cariboo has enough support for mental health… Continue reading

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

Most Read